So when our girls suggested we take a trip for the holidays instead of buying each other a lot of gifts we didn’t really need, I started packing. After much discussion, we decided on a Caribbean cruise with some interesting ports of call. What began as a family vacation, turned out to be a life-changing event, at least for me. Somewhere in the middle of an onboard show, I dreamed up the idea for the Lothario, a hedonistic cruise ship that later became, THE LUST BOAT, my first published work.
To say we had a good time is a gross understatement, and we have the photos to prove it. We saw Mayan ruins, swam with the fishies and, in order to lounge on a Honduran beach, took a bus ride that rivaled any theme park ride we’d ever been on.
Our ship dropped anchor off the port city of Roatan, Honduras on an overcast, somewhat cool day. My shaggy dog syndrome kicked in before the lifeboats were lowered to take us to shore. I loaded up the family-sized beach tote with bottled water and sunscreen, and we stood in line for the short boat ride to our waiting pre-paid shore excursion transportation.
It was easy enough to find our group, and soon we were ushered to a line of waiting busses. We eyed our assigned bus skeptically. This was not the air-conditioned tour bus we’d had in Belize, the one with the sealed windows and…padded seats. The paint had lost some of its yellow luster, and as my youngest stepped aboard and turned to make sure we were behind her, I contemplated the relative strength of rust, and whether it was something I should be concerned about. My husband gave me a little nudge, and I followed the girls onto the bus, the rusted out front fender mostly forgotten, overshadowed by our pending adventure.
In retrospect – I think we should have done both.
When every seat was filled, the driver closed the door and we headed out into the Honduran countryside to a private beach where we’d been promised a lazy day with good food and plenty of fruity drinks with paper umbrellas. I pulled out my ever present camera and prepared to document the ride. And I did. To a point.
We skirted the beach for several miles on a two-lane road lined with colorful houses and the occasional store before turning inland. It wasn’t long before I stashed the camera in favor of hanging on for dear life. The road, and I use that term loosely, wound like a corkscrew through dense jungle, rising and falling until we reached the summit of …something. I vaguely remember the tops of giant banana trees as we whisked along. Our driver slowed, sort of, at the blind, hairpin curves, and I closed my eyes and prayed nothing was coming because there wasn’t anywhere for us, or them to go, but to the base of those giant banana trees. And the road didn’t go there.
Once we reached the summit, the bus slowed as we passed a few tourist trap souvenir shops and the shack where the zip-line adventurer’s would begin their descent via a harness and pulley attached to a cable stretched over the tops of the giant banana trees. I was glad we’d chosen the lazy day on the beach. That thought lasted until we crested the summit and headed down the other side of the mountain.
The adventure didn’t cure my shaggy dog syndrome, but next time I think I might try the zip-line. At least the bus trip would have been shorter.
Bon Voyage! Stop in tomorrow to chat some more.